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From a coach: What do I do if my race plans have changed?

By Jon Metz | March 18, 2020, 1:30 p.m. (ET)

race canceled

You have been training hard over the winter and just learned that your first race of the season, or maybe your “A” race, has been canceled or postponed.

So now what?

Athletes around the world are feeling this sense of disappointment as spring races are dropping off the calendar amid the global coronavirus concerns. While the race changes are warranted for the health of the public, triathletes are now wondering what to do next. 

First, use your disappointment as motivation and opportunity. Remember, one of the most important rules in triathlon is to focus on what you can control. You had no control over the decision to cancel or postpone the event. However, you have full control over how you deal with that information.

You now have an opportunity to address any pain or injuries that you have been avoiding because your event was approaching quickly. Take this extra time to recover and heal. Depending on the availability of facilities, you may be able to seek the assistance of a specialist such as a physical therapist or massage therapist to help you in the healing process. And, if you're self quarantined, some physical therapy services may also offer telehealth options so you can benefit from the expertise of specialists remotely."

Another opportunity is for you to work on any areas of limitation. Say for example, you know your swim stroke and technique needs work. Now could be the time to address that area because you don’t need to be focused on specific distances or detailed swim workouts building up to your event.

These opportunities will require a shift in your current training plan and mindset.

If you are unsure of what to do, we suggest you seek the guidance of one of our USA Triathlon Certified Coaches. This is one of the many situations where the knowledge of a USA Triathlon Certified Coach is valuable. You can use our Find a Coach feature here to find a coach who fits your specific needs.

Stay healthy and use this opportunity to maximize your potential on, your new, race day!

Jon Metz holds a Master of Science in Education and Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership. He is certified as a USA Triathlon Level II Coach and USA Triathlon Youth and Junior Coach. Beyond working with athletes, he instructs and mentors coaches, from all sports, in the area of effective coaching.